Chimpanzees can talk, you know.
Well, up to a point.
Back in the 70s, researchers taught a chimp called Nim to communicate. Giving him a row of buttons, labelled with signs representing all his favourite things.
He learned hundreds of signs. Pushing the buttons whenever he wanted something.
Okay, he was never going to win a Pulitzer Prize, or deliver the Gettysburg Address.
But in time, he was stringing together 2-3 word sentences:
“Want banana”… “More juice”… “Tickle Nim”… and more.
Yeah, critics say they’re basic commands and linked to instant reward.
“So is it a big deal really? Yada yada yada…”
Well yes, it is.
Because Nim was working without our species’ innate language capacity…and yet, he was smart enough to pair up nouns with verbs.
I say that’s amazing.
But a little troubling too, when you think about it.
Because…in the light of this week’s events…we have to ask the question:
If a furry primate can get to grips with human language…why can’t the leader of the free world step up and do the same???
How come it took Donny J Trump 24 long hours to twig that he’d caved in to Putin by skipping the word “NOT”…
…When a creature that lobs its own faeces at strangers can practically order a pizza?
How can that happen?
Oh Donny, Donny.
What’ll we do with you?
Look, I’ve got no political axe to grind here. Left, right or centre, we can all agree Trump is a wobbly orange muppet. Yeah?
But that’s not my point.
In a long ranty way, I’m driving at something else.
Every word counts.
You’ve seen what happens…
Don showed you what happens…
When you get one out of place.
You change your meaning. Or lose your impact. Or confuse your audience.
Instead of rousing…inspiring…winning hearts and minds…
You lose respect. Lose your advantage.
All because you got sloppy.
Don’t be sloppy.
Be like Santa with his Naughty & Nice List – check it twice. Or thrice.
No mistakes. No excuses.
Get your point across, first time.
These word things are your bezzy mate, if you treat them well. But throw them about in a ruthless stomp, with no thought or coherent thread…and they’ll make you look a prize twonk.
So choose your words carefully, huh?
Check your copy for comprehension. Check again for impact. And check again for pesky errors that’ll throw a reader off course.
Then you won’t leave an ambiguous mess blowing up behind you. And you won’t have to back-pedal while a billion people judge you.
So that’s my mantra for this week:
Don’t be Don…be diligent.
Give a damn about the details, and whaddyaknow –
Your point’ll travel from your brain and land in someone else’s…plant a little idea there…and help to change the world.
And yes, it’ll change your bank balance too.
Communicate, and profit.